JCANS is a Non-Governmental Organization that was registered with the Joint Stocks Registry on February 17th 2013.
There were a number of us who came together at the urging of the Jamaican High Commissioner to Canada, the Honourable Sheila Sealy-Montieth, when she visited the region in 2012 as part of her outreach to communities across the country on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence.
We organized celebrations in July and August of 2012 commemorating the 50th anniversary. The first event was a collaboration with the Black Cultural Society at the end of July in which we celebrated our common heritage and the historical fact that Jamaicans have been a part of Nova Scotia history for generations. The Trelawny Town Maroons were exiled to Halifax Nova Scotia in 1796 after the closure of the Second Maroon War with the British government in Jamaica. The Maroons lived in such Halifax neighbourhoods as Preston, Boydville, and Spryfield. They helped in constructing the Citadel Fortress, Government House (home of the Lieutenant-Governor), and built roads and highways in Halifax and Dartmouth. Unhappy with their lives in Nova Scotia, most of the Maroons opted to leave for Sierra Leone in 1800. A few families did however remain behind in Preston.
We went on to have a very memorable and meaningful celebration on August 6th with members of City Council and the Minister of African-Nova Scotian affairs joining us at the Grand Parade for a flag-raising and acknowledgement of the day. This was followed by a picnic on the Halifax Commons that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. A very successful and well attended picnic was held again in 2013 on the Halifax Commons.
We have since been focusing on the formation of Committees to address the needs in our community as well as back home.
We recognize that newcomers arrive and are often lost in the system with no connection and a lack of knowledge of supports in the community. So we are attempting to bridge that gap by ensuring that we reach out and provide for their needs in the way of friendship and more practically, warm clothes, taking them shopping etc.
Our other focus is to bridge the shortfall back home in the education of the children. We all realize that there are many needs but because we are at our beginning stage we have decided to focus on this area as well as the plight of the homeless.
JCANS Executive Committee